This was shown by the seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Flash U.S. Composite PMI Output Index rising from July's reading of 54.6 to 56.0, to indicate the fastest growth of overall activity since May 2015.
Driving the headline composite index higher was a sharp increase in service sector business activity in August ('flash' business activity index at 56.9, up from 54.7 in July). This contrasted with a slowdown in manufacturing production growth ('flash' output index at 52.2 in August, down from 54.1).
In line with the trend for overall activity, total new orders also expanded at a quicker pace in August. Moreover, new business volumes grew at the quickest pace for just over two years. At the same time, companies continued to add to their payroll numbers in August, with the rate of job creation unchanged from July's seven-month record.